Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
  Contents
  Index
WORLD BIRDS
  Contents
  Index

ANECDOTES

  Oscines
 
 
 

TRAITS
 Ratites
 Tinamous
 Cracids/Galli
 Waterfowl
   Screamers
   Ducks

 Penguins
 Loons
 Grebes
 Procellarids
   Albatrosses
   Petrels
   Storm-Petrels

Totipalmate Swm

   Tropicbirds
   Gannets/Boobies
   Pelicans
   Cormorants
   Anhingas
   Frigatebirds

 
Waders
   Herons
   Ibises
   Storks  

 NW Vultures
 Flamingos
 Raptors
 Gruiformes
   Buttonquail
   Bustards
   Cranes
   Rails

 Shorebirds
   Sandgrouse
   Plovers
   Oystercatchers
   Stilts
   Sandpipers
   Gulls/Terns
   Auks

 Pigeons
 Parrots
 Turacos
 Cuckoos
 Owls
 Frogmouths
 Nightjars
 Swifts/Humbd
 Colies
 Coraciae

   Hornbills
   Hoopoes
   Trogons
   Rollers
   Kingfishers
   Bee-eaters
   Jacamars/Puffbd

 
Pici
   Honeyguides
   Woodpeckers
   Barbets/Toucans

PASSERINES
   NZ WRENS
   OW SUBOSC

      Broadbills
      Pittas

 NW SUBOSC
   NW Flycatchers

   Becards
   Cotingas
   Manakins
   Antbirds
   Ovenbirds
   Woodcreepers
   Antthrushes
   Tapaculos 

 OSCINES
 Lyre-/Scrub-birds
 Bowerbirds
 Aust. Wrens
 Honeyeaters
 Scrubwrens
 Aust. Robins
 Kinglets
 Shrikes
 Vireos
 Whistlers
 Corvids
 Birds-of-Paradse
 OW Orioles
 Cuckoo-shrikes
 Fantails
 Drongos
 Monarchs
 Bush-shrikes
 Wattle-eyes
 Vangas
 Waxwings
 Dippers
 Thrushes
 OW Flycatchers
 Starlings
 Mimids
 Nuthatches
 N Creepers
 Wrens
 Gnatcatchers
 Tits/Parids
 Larks
 Swallows
 Leaf-Warblers
 Bulbuls
 Cisticolas
 White-eyes
 Babblers
 OW Warblers
 Flowerpeckers
 Sunbirds
 OW Sparrows
 Accentors
 Pipits
 Estridids
 Weavers
 Whydahs
 9-prim. Oscines

   Fringillines
   Carduelines
   Hawaiian Honycrp
   NW Sparrows
   NW Warblers
   Tanagers
   Cardinals
   NW Blackbirds

TOP

 
Passeriformes, Oscines -
 
Skip to:   
Oscines
Sibley & Ahlquist classification, Wikipedia classification, Tree of Life cladogran
   
  Order Passeriformes - Perching Birds
Wiki     ToL     EoL
  Most passerines are smaller and less massive than members of non-passerine orders. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young are altricial - they hatch blind with little or no down - and nidicolous - spending 10-15 days or so in the nest. Subsequent development is rapid and young approach adult mass at fledging. Parents provide care beyond fledging.
 
  "Oscines"
Passerines may be divided into Suboscines and Oscines (Song Birds) based upon characteristics of their syrinx with suboscines generally being regarded as having less specialized syringes. Most passerines are Oscines except in the Neotropical region (South America) where the tyrannids have radiated.
   
  Suborder Passeri - "Oscines," Song Birds
Wiki     ToL
EXAMPLE
  Song birds have a diacromyodian syrinx (intrinsic syringeal muscles attach to both ends of the bronchial half rings). Most have more than three pairs of intrinsic syringeal muscles but lyrebirds have three pairs and scrub-birds have three plus a few fibers representing a fourth pair. Remember that the syrinx, found at the junction of the trachea and bronchi, produces vocal sounds in birds. The presence of complex musculature in the "voice box" is inferred to confer superior vocal talents - and, indeed, some song birds have wonderful, melodic, and complex songs. Others are pretty flat. Lyrebirds with only three pairs of intrinsic muscles produce some of the most complex imitations found in the bird world.
   The suborder contains 4,561 species in 870 genera, about 80% of all species of passerines..
   The oscines (Passeri) are all very closely related and really form one group essentially equivalent to a family in other orders. However, with many species, coherent subdivisions are useful. Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) suggest that there are two major groups of passerines - the Parvorders (Infraorders) Corvida and Passerida. Most of the living Corvida are confined to Australiasia and the group probably originated and radiated in the Australo-Papuan region. This taxon is now believed to include several distinct or parallel groups and, thus, is paraphyletic. The sister group of the Corvida, the Passerida, probably originated in Africa or Eurasia. It includes the remaining oscine groups and is generally regarded as a monophyletic group.
   As Australia drifted closer to Asia during the Tertiary, some members of the "Corvida" dispersed into Asia and radiated there and in other parts of the world. Reciprocally, a few Passerida colonized Australia and New Guinea. The ancestor of the vireos originated in Australia and may have reached the New World via Antarctica.
   While the Passerida appears to contain related taxa and is probably a valid clade, the Corvida have been found to include several relatively distinct and less related lines. Other classifications will probably treat these several lines. For example, R. B. Payne in his listing of recent birds of the world includes the lyrebirds and scrub-birds in the "Corvida" and places crows, birds of paradise and related families in the "Corvoidea." He then lists a group of "Old Australian Endemics" - families not necessarily related. This group includes the bowerbirds, Australian treecreepers, Australian wrens, Australian warblers, Honeyeaters, Australo-Papuan robins and scrub-robins, log-runners and chowchillas, Australian babblers, and the Cinclosomatidae.
   For the sake of simplicity I will retain the order of Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) with some changes and with notes to later sources and alternatives. As modern genetic studies refine our understanding of these relationships the boundaries and placement of taxa will change. Here's a quick synopsis of passerines as classified by Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) followed with schemes proposed in Wikipedia and the Tree of Life.
 
  Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) classification of Oscines:
Wiki
  Parvorder (Infraorder) Corvida - 1101 species in 229 genera                                                                                                                                          
      Superfamily Menuroidea - Australo-Papuan treecreepers, lyrebirds, scrub-birds, bowerbird       ToL
      Superfamily Meliphagoidea - fairy-wrens and emu-wrens; grass-wrens; honey-eaters; pardalotes, bristle-birds, scrubwrens, thorn-bills,
          white- faces, etc.       ToL
      Superfamily Corvoidea - Australo-Papuan "robins," fairy-bluebirds (leaf-birds), log-runners, Australo-Papuan babblers, true shrikes, vireos
         (and their relatives), corvids (quail-thrushes, whip-birds; Australian Couch, Apostlebird; sitellas; shrike-tits, whistlers, shrike-thrushes crows,
          jays, magpies; birds-of-paradise, currawongs, wood-swallows; Old World orioles, cuckoo-shrikes, fantails, drongos, monarch, magpie-
          larks, ioras, bush-srikes, helmet shrikes, and vangas).       Wiki     ToL
   Parvorder (Infraorder) Passerida - 3,556 species in 639 genera       Wiki     ToL
      Superfamily Muscicapoidea - waxwings, dippers, typical thrushes (muscicapine flycatchers, muscicapine chats), Old World starlings
         (mynas, oxpeckers), New World mimic thrushes,      ToL
      Superfamily Sylvioidea
- nuthatches (wall-creeper), tree-creepers, wrens, gnatcatchers, tits (penduline tits, titmice, chickadees), long-tailed
         tits and bushtits, swallows and martins, kinglets, bulbuls (greenbuls), hypocolius, African warblers, leaf warblers (grass-birds, song-larks,
         babblers)       ToL
     Superfamily Passeroidea
- larks, sunbirds (spider-hunters, flower-peckers, sugar-birds), sparrows (rock sparrows, snow-finches), wagtails
         and pipits, accentors (hedge-sparrows), weaverbirds, waxbills (mannikins, widowbirds), Olive Warbler, Old World finches (chaffinches,
         brambling, goldfinches, crossbills, Hawaiian honeycreepers), New World 9-primaried oscines (emberizine buntings and New World
         sparrows, New World wood warblers, cardinals, icterids (troupials, meadowlarks, grackles, blackbirds, etc.), and tanagers       ToL
 
  Wikipedia classification of Oscines:
Wiki
    Infraorder Menuroida (Superfamily Menuroidea) - Australian endemics
     lyrebirds; scrub-birds
  Infraorder Meliphagoida (Superfamily Meliphagoidea) - insectivores and nectivores, centered in Australo-Papuan and Pacific areas
     fairy-wrens, emu-wrens, and grass-wrens; bristlebirds, scrubwrens, thornbills, and gerygones; honeyeaters (and pardalotes and spinebills -
     incertae sedis)
  Infraorder Corvida (Superfamily Corvoidea) - diverse group distributed globally but centered in the Australasian region - the oldest globally
           successful group with the most intelligent birds of the order, many brightly colored
     berrypeckers and longbills; New Zealand wattlebirds; stitchbird; satinbirds; sitellas (Neosittidae); vireos; cuckoo-shrikes and trillers; whistlers;
     orioles and Figbird; Tit and Crested Berrypeckers; woodswallows, butcherbirds, currawongs, and Australian Magpie; puffback shrikes, bush
     shrikes; wattle-eyes; ioras; Bornean Bristlehead; helmetshrikes and woodshrikes; vangas; drongos; monarch flycatchers; fantails;
     birds-of-paradise; White-winged Chough and Apostlebird; shrikes; crows, ravens and jays, (shrike-vireos, Epornis, shrike-thrushes, whipbirds,
     shrike-tits, pitohuis, melampittas - incertae sedis)
   Incertae sedis
(mainly Corvida)
      superfamily - bowerbirds and Australian treecreepers
      superfamily - logrunners and pseudo-babblers
      Australian robins
      superfamily rockfowl, rock-jumpers, Malaysian Rail-babbler
      Reguloidea - kinglets (fairy-bluebirds? leafbirds?)
      Hyliotas
      fairy-bluebirds - basal to or in the Passeroidea
      leafbirds - basal to or in the Passeroidea
  Infraorder Passerida
   Superfamily Sylvioidea
- Larks, Swallows, Warblers, Babblers, White-eyes - insectivorous (most), centered in Indo-Pacific region, few in
              Australian region and fewer in New World; usually sleek and drab.
      larks; swallows and martins; leaf-warblers; long-tailed tits (bushtits); ground-warblers; grass-warblers; Malagasy warblers ("Bernieridae");
      marsh- and tree-warblers; bulbuls; cisticolas; true sylviid warblers and parrotbills (merged in Timaliidae?); white-eyes (in Timaliidae?);
      Old World babblers ("African warblers"; Black-capped Donacobius; Nicator - incertae sedis)
  Superfamily Muscicapoidea - Old World Flycatchers, Thrushes, Starlings, Mimids - insectivorous (most), centered in tropics; Mimidae endemic
          in New World, most absent from Australia; stocky, often dull, few sexually dimorphic;,dippers, Old World flycatchers and chats, thrushes,
           oxpeckers, starlings, Philippine creepers, mimids
  Superfamily Cerethioidea - Wrens and Allies
      nuthatches, Wallcreeper, treecreepers, Spotted Creeper, wrens, gnatcatchers
  Superfamily Passeroidea - Sparrows, Finches, Weavers, Nine-primaried Oscines - herbivorous (most) with many seed eaters, global
           disbribution, many colorful and sexually dimorphic
      Old World sparrows; accentors; wagtails and pipits; estrildids, weavers, indigobirds and whhydahs; nine-primaried oscines
         ( bananaquit - incertae sedis)
  Incertae sedis
(basal Passerida - small, distinct lines)
      Bearded Tit
      Titmice and allies - Sylvioidea? (superfamily - tits, penduline tits, flycatcher-tits)
      Waxwings and allies - Muscicapoidea? (superfamily - wacwings, palmchat, silky flycatchers, Hypocolius, Mohoidae
      Sunbirds and flowerpeckerbirds - Passeroidea?
      Sugarbirds - Passeroidea?
 
  Tree of Life cladogram of the Oscines:
 
  *Cnemophiline birds of paradise include two species; Loria's Bird-of-paradise, Cnemophilus loriae, and Crested Bird-of-paradise, C. macgregorii. Others in this family are retained in the Corvidea.
       
    Banner - American Robin. Palmetto Lake. Seabrook Island, SC.